Happy Monday!! It has been a full week since I came back from Hawaii. (Since I was sick last week it feels like much longer.) It’s always sad to come back from vacation but I had some exciting stuff to come back to that made it a liiiittle bit easier. I’ll be writing more Hawaii travel guides this month so that’ll help me relive the memories! First I wanted to share some of the essentials that I brought with me. No surprise to anyone, I’m an overpacker but a lot of what I brought proved to be super useful. I’ve been accumulating some fun things over the past few months and working with companies here and there in preparation for this trip. I’m excited to share these goodies with you all!
PacSafe Citysafe CX Convertible backpack* – Available on Amazon Prime
A few months ago I attended an event with PacSafe where I learned more about the brand’s unique features. I was thrilled to receive a backpack (in black, my favorite) because it’s amazing for travel and everyday. This bag is the smaller version of your typical commuter-size backpack which is awesome. It’s a great 2-in-1 product because it converts into a small crossbody bag as well. I never used it as a bag because I’m an overpacker however it would be great for someone who doesn’t want to pack too many accessories. Since the backpack itself is very lightweight it’s easily packed into your suitcase – it doesn’t take up much space or weight.
Despite taking it to sandy beaches and out by the pool it held up nicely and any stains can be easily wiped off. The gold accents on the zippers and hardware are so cute! A cute but also functional detail is the pink lining inside the backpack. A light interior allows you to find things easier which I know all you ladies can appreciate. I also can’t express how much I love the safety features on the backpack. There are TurnNLock security hooks, RFID blocking pockets, zipper tabs to lock them in place, slashproof materials, and more. Even when I had to leave my backpack with the hotel’s concierge I felt safe locking the strap of my backpack to my suitcase. This is a bag I know I will take with me for many trips to come! I’m eyeing a larger backpack for commuting purposes soon!
Waterproof Phone Pouch – Available on Amazon Prime
If you are going kayaking, hiking to a waterfall, traveling somewhere tropical, etc. you NEED a waterproof pouch for your phone. These pouches are amazing and allow you to still use your phone camera when you’re around water. Since they go around your neck, your hands are free as well. When we went on a 5 hour kayak tour, my hands were free the whole time but I could still reach down to snap some pictures. I was skeptical and never dunked my phone completely in the water but it would’ve been fine. They all tell you to do a test with a piece of paper inside the pouch and I can tell you that no water will get inside. Definitely buy on Amazon before you need it because I saw the same pouches for over $15 in Hawaii.
Vision Global Wifi Device* – Get 10% off here
One of my favorite things we brought on this trip is this small Mifi device that I got to rent from Vision Global. It’s not absolutely necessary to have portable wifi when traveling domestically, however it’s important to Jared and I to have reliable Internet whenever we need it on vacation. Whether it’s to use GPS while driving in a new city or being able to pull up our travel documents or do research during travel mishaps (all scenarios that we experienced this trip) we loved having a strong Internet connection at all times. Plus we never had to worry about going over our data limits as we both share with our families. The Mifi device is super small and fit in my bag at all times. Sometimes Jared just carried it in his pocket!
The reason why I will never get Internet through my phone company again (especially on an international trip) is because it’s not as convenient or flexible. With Vision Global you only pay for the dates you need. I bought a local SIM card when I was in London and the cheapest option I could get for my whole trip ended being an entire month of data! I love that this is customizable and I can keep my original SIM card in. The Vision Global team is super nice and helpful should you have any questions!
Book: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – Get it on Amazon
We did a lot on our trip so it was important that whenever we had down time, I got to unwind and read a little. I brought Crazy Rich Asians which I’ve been trying to get through for sooo long. It’s not that it’s hard to get through, I just haven’t made time for reading! The book is filled with laughs, drama, and culture. I didn’t want to put this one down!
Tesalate beach towel* – Free worldwide shipping here
Tesalate is an Australia based company that makes sand-free towels that dry in half the time a normal towel does. The towels roll up into really compact sizes and come in a drawstring pouch. I was so excited to try this towel at the beach and by the pool! It turned out to be just as good as the brand promises. After the beach, all I had to do was shake the towel once or twice and all the sand came off easily. Again, as an overpacker it was really nice that I could fit a towel in my suitcase. I would normally never have room for one!
Sun hat & baseball hat – Similar here and Seahawks hat here
This one is probably way obvious to you but I think having two hats is the best! I always get nervous about trying to fit a hat into my suitcase but if you pack things like socks and underwear into the hat, it can lay flat and doesn’t actually take up much room. Sun hats are great for laying out by the pool and are cute accessories, but sometimes you need function over fashion. I love how 47 caps fit and this is the one piece of Seahawks gear I own :) When we went hiking and kayaking this was a life saver under the intense sun! Sun hats aren’t practical to wear when your hat could blow off into the water but a baseball hat stays on securely.
Ollie Quinn sunglasses* – Mine are in the color London Weather
It goes without saying that sunglasses are necessary for Hawaii as well! A few months ago, I attended an opening party at Ollie Quinn in Capitol Hill. It was my first introduction to the Canadian brand. Instantly I was blown away by the brand simply because of the people I met from their HQ. Everyone from the marketing team to the designers was so excited about the brand and gave me a great idea of what the brand is about.
Ollie Quinn makes incredibly high quality glasses that are perfect for those who want something minimalistic, yet stylish, at a great price point. The space itself is beautiful and in the best location on the hill. If you’re into bright and sophisticated spaces, get your phone out and snap some pictures next time you’re in the neighborhood. You can even bring your laptop and just stop by to take advantage of the shop as it is also a co-working space.
I stopped in to get a pair of glasses and Amy, the Capitol Hill boutique manager, helped me choose out the Suzie glasses. I always have a hard time when it comes to glasses and she made the process SO quick and painless. Bringing these to Hawaii was a no brainer because they are cute but also functional – all OQ glasses are polarized and scratch resistant. They come with both a soft and hard case too!
Amazon Fashion – Scalloped bikini & off the shoulder dress
I’m a total last minute packer. I also leave outfit planning to the very last minute so going shopping for off-season items wasn’t going to happen before this trip. Luckily I found that a lot of Amazon Fashion items are eligible for Prime shipping. One thing I knew I wanted to find was a scalloped swimsuit and luckily I found the best one for SO cheap. The size small fit perfectly and it even comes with detachable straps. (Side note: highly recommend using the straps when you’re swimming. I may have flashed some people trying to get out of my floatie. Ahem.) I ended up wearing these bottoms so much because of how comfortable they are.
The dress was a last minute purchase I made on a whim. Let’s be real, I don’t need another dress. But I mean….when it’s under $13 sometimes you have to pull the trigger and just try it out. I saw that there were free returns so if it didn’t work out, I could ship it back. When I tried it on I was blown away because it looks WAY more expensive than it really is. Score! The arms get a little scratchy after a while but otherwise I have no complaints. It has a lining and isn’t see through and it was perfect for the night we went to a fancy restaurant. I could see myself wearing this to a wedding later too!
Whew! I thought this would be shorter than it was but clearly I have a lot to say about things I like. We did so much on our trip that the rest of my Hawaii posts are going to be very lengthy, so get ready for those :)
I hope you get a chance to check out some of these products and brands that I mentioned! As always please feel free to email me or contact me if you have questions or other recommendations.
Items marked with an asterisk were gifted to me. All opinions are 100% my own.